Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Death for Sale - by the inch! Good grief - now I've seen it all. Recently the obituaries in our local paper - the Syracuse NY Post Standard - became longer and more detailed. Oh well. That's nice - kind of like obits were at the turn of the 19th century. Still - some seemed a bit bizarre - like the woman called to sit beside God and assist him in his daily duties. Huh? If nothing else - one wonders how she resolved the question of seniority. I mean - there must be people much longer dead who were looking for promotion. And being a member of Kiwanis is no longer enough. The deceased are described as 'devoted to his/her grandchildren' or interested in 'scrapbooking'.

The mystery is solved. I noticed a blurb at the bottom of the page! Obits 2 inches or less are free - longer than 2 inches and you pay! Now I call that rampant discrimination against people with ten children and/or ten surviving siblings. A picture? Pay up! Ah but there is now an online obit guestbook - which you pay for - where people may go to make entries. I don't even want to go there.

This all conjures up images - most of them unfortunate. In order to pay for these 'amenities' - perhaps we'll have Rent-a-Space caskets and urns where ads may be placed with proceeds going to the survivors? How about hearses with loudspeakers on top delivering sales pitches. In case you think I'm some young person convinced of her own immortality and therefore insensitive to such concerns - I'm 72 years old and let me tell you this - if ANYONE puts one of those obitu-novels in the paper when I die - I PROMISE - I will come back and haunt them!


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